In today’s Mercury News: Davis at center of international treaty dispute:

A special global trade panel is weighing a precedent-setting proposition: Did Davis break international law by banning MTBE after accepting legal campaign donations from a company pushing an alternate gasoline additive?
That is the argument being made by Methanex, a Canadian company that produces a key ingredient in MTBE. Methanex contends that Davis violated global trade rules by banning MTBE after holding a secret meeting with Archer Daniels Midland executives and collecting $200,000 from officials with the company that produces ethanol, a clean air alternative to MTBE.

From what I have been told, the environmental (leaching) issues with MTBE are real. Why does this leave me with the feeling that it didn’t matter until there was a contributor for whom it was an issue?


  1. Date: 06/30/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Ann is right that there is a major irony on NAFTA & the UN. The UN has no real power; it only acts with the approval of the states that finance it. Which means that it does very little against the desires of the US, although like a petulant teenager it loudly and frequently declares its independence. But the claim that real US sovereignty is being lost or likely to be lost to the UN is a fantasy.At the same time, US sovereignty is being very substantially compromised by NAFTA, the WTO, and similar agreements. And its being done vigorously often by the same politicians who loudly declare that they will never give up American sovereignty to the UN. Conservatives who flip out at the imaginary UN threat vote for these politicians in large numbers.Re the charge against Davis: remember that the people making it have a huge financial stake in discrediting his action. It shouldn’t be taken to seriously until real evidence backs it up.

  2. Date: 06/30/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Ugh. I’ll give you a definite “maybe” on it. Fact is, I don’t really know enough about the issue and would actually have to research the issue (oh no!). Privateer sent me a very nice and long note about the Middle East, so I’m going to educate myself about that first. Which means I won’t get to NAFTA until … oh, say 2012. But I’ll put it next on the list.

  3. Date: 06/30/2002 00:00:00 AM
    Yeah, but……the problems with MTBE were in the press for over two years; Davis could have brought the EPA Clean Air folks together with the EPA Clean Water folks as soon as this was known.But he didn’t.And yes, again, I agree that the ‘anti-appropriation’ terms of NAFTA are a nighmare. Somone should blog it…*grin*

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